Introducing Dogs to chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rich Marshall, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2011
    Any suggestions...should I intoduce them to the young chicks and then continue as they grow or wait until they are fully grown?
  2. goldies99

    goldies99 Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    start right while they are the time the chickens are big they will all be friends!...just dont leave
    them alone for a second while you are letting them get to know each other!!!.....good luck!
  3. Bauer in Montana

    Bauer in Montana In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  4. WyandotteTX

    WyandotteTX Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    There has been one hard taught lesson through my 30 plus years of chicken keeping. Chickens and Dogs do NOT mix. Its a recipe for disaster. Even the kindest, gentlest of wonderful pets will have a regression to their primal instinct to hunt and kill birds.
    Many may disagree, only stating my opinion that it has never worked for me and have seen great distress caused to other flock owners by dogs. Maybe there is some secret out there that I dont know about, only speaking from my own experiences.
  5. SIMPleChick

    SIMPleChick Songster

    Mar 10, 2011
    My dogs sniffed the baby chicks IN the box, licked each one as we put them in the brooder and had contact with them every single day! By the time the chicks went out side they would play fetch with the dogs! LOL! Dogs would playfully chase the chickens and the chickens would chase the dogs! LOL! Side by side, no issues. I have a terrier mix, 20lb dog and a German Shepherd! The dogs thought of them as their babies! BUT Yes, you have to remember that even in playing, or if the chicken pecks the dog in the eye or something, a dog can snap at it or get too excited when the chickens fly, which will cause the dogs to chase them, so you do need to supervise. But I have had no injuries or problems. A few scoldings here and there with dogs getting excited but nothing big! And I LOVE the dogs around the chickens because the HAWKS won't come around when BIG dogs are there!!!
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  6. KDK1

    KDK1 Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    Quote:People have been using dogs to protect and guard their flocks for centuries. I guess I'm one of the many...
    1 person likes this.
  7. chickenjoefan

    chickenjoefan Chirping

    Jan 19, 2011
    Western Isles, Scotland
    We have 2 patterdale terriers, we had them before we got chickens and one of them had even caught a neighbours chicken and killed it when he was a puppy. Having read posts on here and various magazines etc i made my hubby build a run that was like fort knox with electric fencing and a double door entry and was convinced they could never mix.

    But hubby wanted to try and so we purposely chose chicken breeds that were calm and not flighty. I hatched the chicks myself in the house and whilst the dogs were never left in the room alone with the hatcher or young chicks in the brooder we did supervised contact right from the start (from a safe distance i must say - the chicks were always behind bars). The dogs were obsessive to start with literally drooling but eventually the novelty wore off and they learnt the chicks were not for them too touch.

    By the time the chickens had moved out to the coop and i seperated the roos from the girls we started muzzled contact with the roos, it was terrifying at the time but slowly the dogs and chickens got used to each other and now the girls get to free range in the garden too.

    I think the chickens being calm breeds and having grown up with the dogs around has been crucial. Doogie (the reformed chicken hunter) still sniffs fluffy butts but the chickens just continue to eat and ignore him. if the chickens fussed and flapped when he sniffed them i'm sure he would chase or snap, he is always more intersted in sniffing when he first meets a new member of the flock and I certainly wouldn't trust him with anyone elses chickens but I never in my wildest dreams thought i'd be able to have chickens and dogs in the garden together - never mind eating corn out of my hand side by side. I am still very aware of when they are out together and am always half watching what the dogs are up to. Maybe one day it will go wrong but for now I am so glad we tried to introduce them.

    Will try and post some pictures for you later. Good luck.
  8. chickenjoefan

    chickenjoefan Chirping

    Jan 19, 2011
    Western Isles, Scotland

    Doogie - a patterdale cross and reformed chicken hunter

    Doogie playing with his mum Spice - and some very unimpressed chickens
    1 person likes this.
  9. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    This is something I am worried about too. I have two dogs, one that has grown up with cats but still likes to chase them. He doesn't hurt them, but wants to play with them. But, he is a 90 lb pit bull mix and will hurt them just by playing with them. My other dog was a forest dog that adopted us when we moved here. She lived in the woods behind our house. She is a border collie mix and lives to chase and catch squirrels. She has learned to leave the cat alone, but if I am not looking she will give chase. Her goal in life is to eat one of these new babies.

    I have my new babies in a dog house converted brooder. The front door opening is permanently screened shut with hardware cloth. Both dogs will lay there and watch the babies. They will start to cry and if a chick gets close to the door they will paw at it or bark. I was hoping to get to the point where they could be with the chicks without hurting them but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
  10. TN_BIRD

    TN_BIRD Chirping

    Mar 15, 2011
    It can be done. My dog gets along just fine with my chickens.

    I ain't bragging, but I gotta believe it's because my dog is fairly well trained (we do the AKC retriever hunt test stuff and have earned a few ribbons playing with our friends)


    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by